Although cavities tend to be associated predominantly with children, when factors like eating sugary snacks and poor brushing techniques increase the risk of tooth decay, adults are not immune. But according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the rates of untreated tooth decay are actually much higher among adults. Like gum disease, tooth decay typically starts with a small cavity and gets worse over time. Without treatment, decay can lead to pain, infection, and even tooth loss in extreme cases. But the good news is that cavities and tooth decay are preventable. In addition to practicing good oral hygiene at home, Dr. Jill Markos, a dentist in Vancouver, WA, recommends following American Dental Association (ADA) guidelines for a dental checkup and cleaning every six months.
Tooth Decay Prevention and Treatment in Vancouver, WA
So you already brush after meals and floss every day - congratulations! You're off to a great start. Practicing thorough oral hygiene on a regular basis is the first step in preventing those pesky cavities and other common oral health problems like gum disease, which can cause everything from bleeding gums on the mild end of the spectrum, to tooth loss at the most severe stages (known as periodontitis).
But there are a few other important steps to take in order to keep your teeth and gums healthy at every age:
- See your dentist for preventive treatment - Many people wait until something is wrong to go to the dentist, but going to the dentist at least once or twice a year is a critical part of prevention and a good oral health care plan.
- Eat for your oral health - Dietary factors that are damaging to your general health, like eating and drinking too much sugar or consuming too much alcohol, also put your oral health at risk. Limiting sugary food and drinks and drinking alcohol in moderation will lower your risk of tooth decay.
Find a Dentist in Vancouver, WA
Don't leave your oral health to chance. Contact our office today by calling (360) 693-2544 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Markos for a comprehensive dental exam and cleaning.